Policy paper

Ivory Bill 2018

The Ivory Bill will ban the commercial use of ivory in the UK. It was introduced to the House of Commons on 23 May 2018.



The number of elephants has declined by almost a third in the last decade and around 20,000 a year are still being slaughtered due to the global demand for ivory.

The UK’s ivory ban will be one of the toughest in the world and builds on government work at home and overseas to deal with poaching and the illegal ivory trade.

The measures in the Bill will:

  • introduce a ban on commercial activities concerning ivory (it will ban buying and selling ivory)
  • set out five categories of items exempted from the ban
  • detail what actions those wishing to sell exempt items will need to take to be compliant with the ban
  • introduce new offences that could be applied to breaches of the ban
  • include necessary power for enforcement, such as powers of entry, search and seizure

The Bill follows a consultation that attracted more than 70,000 responses from the public – with 88 per cent backing the ban.

Published 23 May 2018
Last updated 2 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added factsheets for Illegal Wildlife Trade, Ivory Seizures, Existing Regulations and Compliance.
  2. First published.